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February 26, 2005

Flex those language-warrior muscles

I'm presently inundated with language and I love it.

I could call this a glory hour, really. Comparatively, this is about as wonderful as knowing that all my toils are worthwhile--it's baking cookies in my mind just thinking about it!

Anyway, silly analogies and analyses aside, this recent bubble of language discussion that has spawned doesn't even come from a single host. Perhaps that is the most enamouring aspect of my position?

Yes, readers, this is the culmination of a liberal arts education--when things that could be associated ARE associated and make sense to study side-by-side.

Leaping into the Italian with Eliot the other day for American Literature hotwired my harbored passion for language that has long been hibernating (taking a semester off and being jaded at a plateau in studying French will do that to you).

The very day following my blog on "Prufrock" I attended the discussion on Nostra Aetate, with Dr. Dardery representing Islam, a local Rabbi, and a representative of the Catholic perspective. As I mentioned, they spoke of the meanings of the texts that are sacred to their respective religions. It was interesting to note that two of the three mentioned that the language of the original text being the best way to learn and understand it. (I wondered how the rest of us that do not know Arabic and/or Hebrew ought to go about learning more about their religions? It seemed to me that perhaps our monolingual efforts were feeble and insufficient. I didn't get the opportunity to ask my question.)

Skip a day for all that to sink in (Thursday); although, I did conduct my presentation on "Prufrock," and I was quite pleased with the resulting discussion. Even though we strayed from the direct literary items in question it was rewarding.

Today, Dr. Leap surprised my LA 150 (Faith, Religion, and Society) class, announcing that Dr. Dardery would be speaking with us and answering any questions. He recognized me (could it be that I said hello in getting my hot cocoa this morning?), and my class had some great questions that brought about specific, useful answers.

I expressed my personal intensities surrounding the thought that the God I pray to and worship as a Christian (Lutheran) is the same for Muslims, is the same for Jews. I admit that I was ignorant to this concept prior to a trip to the Islamic Center in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and additional experiences in on-campus events... and I am still having a difficult time digesting this, but the seed is there.

Also, within this language cloud I'm riding, I told him about my interest in the languages of the texts, and how one should go about reading these--what, if any, translations? Dr. Dardery gave me a copy of his recommended translation of the Koran. It has the Arabic on the same page as the English--how beautiful to juxtapose the languages!

And finally (!) to almost literally "ice the cake," there is an online chat taking place Sunday morning for which I have just registered. There will be representatives from Dr. Dardery's corresponding university in Egypt and others from SHU and another university in the United States. It'll be at 10am (and typically I'm at church then when I visit home like I'll be doing this weekend, but I'll work out a way to be involved--even just for part of the time). Dr. Leap gave me the instructions, and I am greatly looking forward to it.

This is a different way that I would have ever expected, but I'm beginning to retrain those language-warrior muscles that I've long lost touch with... and it's a great feeling.

Posted by KarissaKilgore at February 26, 2005 12:15 AM


I am so upset that I couldn't do the chat. My church services start at exactly that time. How ironically appropriate, I guess. :-)

Posted by: Amanda at February 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Yes, I scheduled time in my morning prior to our church service, but my home computer wouldn't cooperate... Each time I clicked on "chat" in the Yahoo! interface, all the windows on my screen would just *poof* disappear.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to participate, but I am sure that there will be other opportunities :-) That goes for you, too, Amanda! We'll get to it.

Posted by: Karissa at February 28, 2005 11:40 AM

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